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Tiredness - What else should I try?


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Old 12-18-2009, 09:11 AM   #1
tUrRrRa
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Tiredness - What else should I try?

90% of the time, I am very tired! Just about the only time I am not tired is if I feel very anxious or if I had a lot of caffeine. Occasionally I'll wake up with a stomach ache and then I'll be a bit more alert as well.

I am a healthy person with normal blood tests and no health issues. If anything, I know I don't always sleep too well.

I do take two medications regularly, Yasmin birth control, and Prozac for anxiety and depression. I realize that both of these can commonly make you tired. I've been on Yasmin for a long, long time. Prozac is new for me this year, and I was tired before taking it. Prozac makes me space out more often and makes me a little more forgetful, but the extra tiredness isn't too bad. If anything, I wonder if some of it is from the Yasmin. I've taken it for 8-9 years straight.

Here is my struggle - it's very hard to wake up each day and I am so tired of being sleepy all the time, yet I do NOT want to go off my medications. They work very well for me and I don't get any serious side effects. I've heard too many bad stories of bad side effects (and being sleepy isn't nearly as bad), and I've had some of them myself with other anxiety meds I have tried prior to Prozac. I would hate anything that would affect my mood or my weight. In fact, I am NOT willing to try any medications with weight gain as a common side effect, only because I had struggled with body image problems in the past and don't want to risk an eating disorder if I do gain weight. Got close to that at one point and don't want that to ever come back.

I don't always get 8 hours of sleep, but I get close to it and USUALLY stay asleep most of the night. I have a very comfortable new bed and mattress. I go to bed around the same time each week night, a little later on the weekends (lately NOT later because I can't stay up!). I exercise 5 times a week and eat a pretty clean diet. I have greatly reduced the processed foods I eat because I feel a million times better when eating fresh foods.

I'd appreciate any advice What else do you all recommend looking into? I do get a lot of sinus pressure from allergies, which makes me feel tired. This runs in the family. I take over the counter medication for my allergies and have a sinus rinse to use. Is this likely related to not getting heavy enough sleep from my medications? I never feel well rested! I am also quite dizzy and feel that my balance is off. Some of the dizziness, seems to be allergy related, as my ears get stopped up.

 
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:12 AM   #2
tUrRrRa
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Re: Tiredness - What else should I try?

The main thing I'm struggling with is: Is it worth going off of medications that work VERY WELL for me just to see if I am less tired without them? I don't want to lose all the GOOD things that come from this. I don't know if it's worth just being overly tired all the time, yet happy and getting those good things from the meds.

 
Old 12-18-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: Tiredness - What else should I try?

It can be very hard to find the right mix of medications that work well. I'd continue to see about other interventions before attempting to stop the meds. Also, the Prozac should not be abruptly stopped, it should be tapered off and you should call your doc for a tapering schedule before going off it. It can be especially hard to find the right anti anxiety/anti depression med, so don't give up Prozac except as a last resort.

Yes, allergies can be a big cause of tiredness. There are year round allergies so even in the winter allergies can be very bad for some people. You may want to consider allergy shots, as this can drastically reduce your sinus infections as well as reduce your need for allergy medication. A lot of allergy medication has a big drowsiness side effect (and can have a dizziness side effect too), so if its anything, its probably the allergy meds that are doing it. Allergy shots do require a big time commitment but the majority of people notice a big difference from them, and it is the closest thing out there to a cure. I can give you more info on shots if you are interested.

I'm not sure which allergy meds you are taking but if the drowsiness is driving you crazy try switching to OTC claritin, as that is a non-drowsy formula. Also utilize the neti pot with saline and see if those things help. Good luck!

 
Old 12-20-2009, 06:43 PM   #4
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Re: Tiredness - What else should I try?

I think you just need to take away all of the stress in your body. Just take a long vacation and stop all the medicines that your regularly take. Just take away all the stress in your body and you'll be ok again.

 
Old 12-21-2009, 08:07 AM   #5
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Re: Tiredness - What else should I try?

Thank you both for your replies.

Ayvah2, I would be very interested in seeing if allergy shots could help me out. I do take Claritin D for my allergies, but NOT every day. On the days I don't take it, those are the days I feel the most tired. Taking Claritin D usually makes me feel more alert since I don't have the pressure on my face as much. Sometimes I wonder if it's more of a "cloudy head" feeling rather than actually being tired. I don't take other brands of allergy meds because they do make me VERY tired! Yes, you are so right about not stopping Prozac all at once. Even while gradually tapering off another anti-depressant in the past (first lowering the dosage, then taking every other day, per doctor's instructions), I still had plenty of withdrawal symptoms (night sweats, jittery feelings, insomnia).

Sheldon, unfortunately going off of my medications is not an option. While I can see how this can be good, I can not go off of my birth control as I do not wish to get pregnant and I get very bad stomach-aches without my pill. I used to get sick every month with lots of vomiting and can't be missing work each month. I have a pretty sensitive stomach. Also, I used to not take Prozac and felt extremely anxious without it. I used to get panic attacks every now and then. I still get panicked at times, but it's improved so much, so I don't want to give up the medication. I DO have a lot of stress right now because I am getting married in less than a week and have been very busy with the wedding planning, as well as a very busy time of year at work. I do have my upcoming honeymoon in January, so that should let my mind and body relax I am looking forward to it! Unfortunately I know my lifestyle won't let me take vacations all the time... I have to work and always will, and I am the type that wouldn't be happy and would be very bored if I didn't stay busy all the time. Guess I just need to find that perfect balance !

 
Old 12-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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Re: Tiredness - What else should I try?

I suffered with pretty bad allergies until I found the shots. I felt akin to having a bad cold for a month in the spring and a month in the fall, as well as having year round allergies. I remember well how exhausting it was, and most especially how my quality of life was hurt because of it. I'm such a strong proponent of allergy shots because it is a long term solution, and it can greatly improve quality of life.

See an allergist (not an ENT based program) and get tested. Testing consists of metal pokers dipped into the allergen that's scratched on the surface of the skin, not hard enough to make you bleed. You wait 15 minutes and see if any of those scratches turn into what looks like mosquito bites. Those that don't can be tested with a more sensitive intradermal injection (exactly like a TB test) and you wait another 15 minutes and see if that turns into a mosquito bite and then you are done. You do have to be off of antihistamines for a number of days to be able to do the test, but, if you can't tolerate being off the antihistamines, then you can always do a blood test, which is more convenient but slightly less accurate.

For the shots, (they are subcutaneous so not as deep as a flu shot for example), you have to come once a week for about 6 months as they build up the strength of the shots you get so your body can tolerate more and more with less problems. You get the shot and then have to wait in the office for 30 minutes so they can monitor you, each time. After 6 months you taper down to once a month and you get shots a total of 3-5 years. Most people feel improvement at the 6 month mark. The shots are well documented to be effective in reducing the allergic response, preventing the onset of asthma, and reducing amount of medications people need to be on. Insurance will cover 80-100% depending on your plan. Its a big time commitment but again, with the quality of life improvement that one can obtain, it is very much worth it.

Last edited by Ayvah2; 12-21-2009 at 07:06 PM.

 
Old 12-22-2009, 09:42 AM   #7
wakkochic17
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Re: Tiredness - What else should I try?

I completely agree with the allergy route! I have them year round. I've been getting shots for years and still have problems with them but it's much improved over what it was!
Also, as a supplement, try a B-50 Complex vitamin once a day. It isn't a cure, but I find it helps with energy levels!

 
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